In what is believed to be the first case of its kind they claim bosses frowned on their relationship and discriminated against them after they got married three years ago.
Mr Begraj, 32, belonged to the Dalits, dubbed ‘the untouchables’ and considered the lowest caste in India, while his wife, 33, belonged to the high-society Jats, who created the banghra scene.
A senior member of the firm had tried to persuade Mrs Begraj to call off the wedding, she told an employment tribunal in Birmingham.
‘He said I should reconsider the step I was taking of marrying Vijay because he was a different caste,’ she said. ‘People of Vijay’s caste were different creatures. Marriage would be very different from dating.’
Her workload allegedly increased while her secretarial support was reduced and she was paid less than other solicitors. ‘Vijay was told a number of times that his position had been compromised for entering into a relationship with me,’ she added.
After eight months off following a car crash, she had a ‘back-to-work’ meeting in July 2008 but claimed the firm was reluctant for her to return because she might be planning a family.
Mr Begraj, who worked as a practice manager for the firm for seven years, was sacked last year. His wife resigned in January.
The firm denies claims including unfair constructive dismissal and discrimination and the hearing continues.